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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Google Friend Connect (GFC) Discontinued

Some of you may have already heard that Google Friend Connect (GFC) will no longer be available as of March 1, 2012. It is sad to know that I may lose some of you followers. But if you haven't been following me via other methods, you can follow me through one or all of the social media sites below:

Twitter @jennieyuen
Jen's Review & Giveaways on Facebook
The Art of Jennie Yuen on Facebook
Subscribe by Email

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Just Another Day at Frog Hollow Neighborhood House

This was just another day at the family drop-in at Frog Hollow Neighborhood House. Every Tuesdays, the kids get check out books donated by the "Books For Me" program and take one home to keep.

And also, the kids got to help out in the kitchen to make lunch for the rest of the groups in the drop-in program. Brandon and some of the other older kids got to prepare ham and egg sandwiches. I had my camera and took a snapshot.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Empire Theatres Reel Babies Experience

It was last year that I attended a Reel Babies program for the first time. Empire Reel Babies is a baby-friendly film screening sedries for new parents. Twice a month (every other Wednesday at 1pm), Empire Theatres show new release movies for parents and adults in an environment that provides you with childcare needs. My closest Empire Theatres location with Reel Babies program is at Guildford Mall out in Surrey, which is still quite a drive away from home (45 mins maybe).

The program features lowered volumes and dim lighting so you can enjoy the movie while caring for your baby. Change tables, swings and exersaucers are available right in the auditorium to keep your baby comfortable. Mommies (and Daddys) can keep their little ones entertained while watching the movie without missing any scenes. With the baby-friendly environment and seeing other moms there like me, I feel more comfortable instead of feeling embarassed. I would hate to constantly walk out and in of the auditorium.

You don't have to be stuck at home if you're bored. If you need to go out and relax, go watch a good movie. Many of my mommy friends are already back to work, so most of the time it's just me and little Brandon. Since my Hubby now takes the transit to work, I got to borrow his car for this outing.

The last movie I went with a friend (couple weeks ago) to watch was called The Vow. This is actually my 2nd time in the Reel Babies program, and it was my friend's first time there. It was an OK movie. What my friend and I loved the most was the kids having fun together.

Based on the true story of a newlywed couple recovering from an accident that puts the wife in a coma. She wakes up with severe memory loss and can't remember any of her life with her new husband... so he has to fight to win her heart all over again.

Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Sam Neill, Scott Speedman, Jessica Lange, Jessica McNamee, Dillon Casey, Rachel Skarsten, Brittney Irvin

To get started, register for a free account. Members get to vote for one of the posted movie selections. You'll be notified by email when voting starts. The movie with the most votes will be listed on the playdates page according to your location.

For the month of February, buy one Reel Babies admission ticket and get the second admission free. That's a pretty sweet deal! Bring a friend for FREE! Log into your Empire Insider account to print the coupon (expires Wednesday, February 29, 2012).

Disclosure: I am participating in the Empire Reel Babies program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Empire Theatres. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

How to Get Your Kids to Eat More Veggies

The following is a guest post by Sara Dawkins of Thank-you Sara for the great article.

The longest war that has plagued the world is the ongoing battle of the evil green foods against your child. The age old debate of ‘Do I have too?’ is about to be answered, here are a few tricks to get your kid to eating more veggies:

Lead by example: Believe it or not but your kid watches every move and remark you make. So be sure you eat your veggies too! Keep a positive attitude and make sure they see that you enjoy your veggies. Your child will see this and most likely follow suit.

Make it fun: There are many fun recipes out there to get your kids to eat more veggies like Ants on a Log: celery with peanut butter and raisins. Or try Dinosaur Trees: line up broccoli around the plate and make it look like dinosaur land.

Hide it: If you are not feeling like putting up a fight tonight, throw in the towel and just bury the veggies. Pasta is a great way to sneak in those unwanted veggies. Try to match the veggie color to the pasta sauce. Think spaghetti and meatballs with extra tomatoes and chopped zucchini. The guide to hiding veggies is smaller the better.

Have them cook it: Just like a drawing at school, they bring home and show it off. The same idea works in the kitchen. Have your kid in the kitchen with you. Having them prepare the veggie side will make them feel like they are creating something and then want to show it off at dinner. The sight, smells and the cooking process helps your child see that veggies aren’t that bad. Make it a game, call your little one ‘Chef’ and get them their own chef hat and apron, and tell them part of a chefs job is to of course, eat their masterpiece!

Don’t make it a big deal: When you serve your child the veggies, serve it to them like you would if it was a slice of pizza or cake. You making a big deal out of what it is will only make them wonder why in the world this thing is so important. Play it cool and serve.

So now that you know how to get your kiddo to eat more veggies, start cooking and they will start eating! Have fun with it and enjoy it, bon appetite.

Author Bio

Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of nanny service. Learn more about her here.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Facebook Artwork Contest: Win a Kidorable Ensemble

Are your kids ready to share their art on a bigger stage than the refrigerator door? Let the world admire their little Picasso with Kidorable’s Facebook Artwork Contest. The winner will receive a complete Kidorable ensemble of their choice.

How it works:

Your child draws, paints, sculpts, or collages his or her favorite Kidorable theme. Show them your child’s artwork of frogs, ladybugs, pirates, or any other Kidorable style, and you could win the entire collection in his or her favorite style! Have a look here and choose your favorite. Just email a picture to to enter.

Send in your submissions starting February 29th until March 14th, then voting will be open for one week at The submission with the most 'likes' wins! The winner will be announced March 21st.

Come on kids... let's get creative!

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Video & Book Review: Winning At Parenting by Barbara Coloroso *

I recently finished a parenting course at my local neighborhood house. During the last few classes, we watched a video called "Winning at Parenting... without Beating your Kids" by Barbara Coloroso. I really liked the video and find it really interesting the way she presents to the audience. This is a very good video where Barbara gives a humorous approach to mealtime, bedtime, chores... and getting your kids out of the local jail. There are a lot of good points she makes and also gives great examples. Every parent and child are different, and you do what works for you.

This bestselling guide rejects "quick-fix" solutions and focuses on helping kids develop their own self-discipline by owning up to their mistakes, thinking through solutions, and correcting their misdeeds while leaving their dignity intact. Barbara Coloroso shows these principles in action through dozens of examples -- from sibling rivalry to teenage rebellion; from common misbehaviors to substance abuse and antisocial behavior. She also explains how to parent strong-willed children, effective alternatives to time-outs, bribes, and threats, and how to help kids resolve disputes and serious injustices such as bullying.

Filled with practical suggestions for handling the ordinary and extraordinary tribulations of growing up, kids are worth it! helps you help your children grow into responsible, resilient, resourceful adults -- not because you tell them to, but because they want to.

Good discipline is not punishment
Discipline and punishment are different. Punishment is supposed to make a person choose not to repeat bad behaviour. But, from punishment, especially physical punishment, children learn how the powerful make rules and the weaker must go along with it, or else. They might learn to avoid being honest about mistakes or to divert the blame on to others (“he did it, not me,” “it’s not my fault”). Because young children do not choose to mis-behave, they can feel like failures if punished over and over.

Here's a list of topics that Barbara covers in her video presentation:
- How to Think – not what to think…
- Give Life to Learning – Empower and influence…
- The Three Families: Brickwall, Jellyfish, Backbone…
- Chores
- The Three Cons: Weeping, Wailing, Gnashing Teeth…
- Discipline
- Allowance
- Mealtime
- Solving Problems
- Bedtime
- Fighting
- Jail – Don’t rescue, don’t punish… discipline
- Rebellion
- Sex Education
- Kids are Worth It!

About the Author

Barbara Coloroso is an international bestselling author and for the past 38 years an internationally recognized speaker and consultant on parenting, teaching, school discipline, positive school climate, bullying, grieving, nonviolent conflict resolution and restorative justice. She has appeared on Oprah, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and NPR and has been featured in the New York Times, Time, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, and other national and international publications. Her uniquely effective parenting and teaching strategies were developed through her years of training in sociology, special education, and philosophy, as well as field-tested through her experiences as a classroom teacher, laboratory school instructor, university instructor, seminar leader, volunteer in Rwanda, and mother of three grown children. She is the author of four international bestsellers: kids are worth it! Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline; Parenting Through Crisis--Helping Kids in Times of Loss, Grief and Change; The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander--From Pre-School to High School, How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence; and Just Because It's Not Wrong Doesn't Make It Right--From Toddlers to Teens, Teaching Kids to Think and Act Ethically. Barbara's latest book is Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide...and Why it Matters. She also has two critically acclaimed video programs Winning at Parenting...without beating your kids and Winning at Teaching...without beating your kids.

Disclosure: I did not receive any products nor was paid for this post. The book and video mentioned above are my own purchased copies. Any expressed opinions are my own and personal thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Enjoying a Strawberry Smoothie from Starbucks

Brandon enjoys a Strawberry Smoothie from Starbucks.

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App Review: Franklin's Bumpy Buggy Race-Off

Franklin's Bumpy Buggy Race-Off

Show off your soap-box skills in this race to the finish line. Fly through the air using your favorite Franklin bumpy buggies by collecting special boosts and combos and avoiding pesky obstacles along the way, to be declared champion of Woodland.

• Select from six bumpy buggies.
• Race 10 unique tracks.
• Save and watch your favorite races.
• Upload your favorite races to Treehouse TV for other kids to watch.

A new game that Brandon was excited to try out, especially from his favorite TV show, Franklin, on TreeHouseTV. Brandon loves cars and racing, so this was perfect for him. The first time he tried, he didn't know how to control the little racing buggies. After a few tries, he got the hang of it. We also played it during our road trips to keep Brandon entertained in the car. I also had the chance to try the mini game and I really like how the graphics/illustrations were in 3D, just like the new ones shown on TV.

Disclosure: I received a code to redeem for the above App at no charge in exchange for a review of my opinion. The opinions expressed are my own personal and honest thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

{WINNER} Lady and the Tramp Prize Pack Giveaway

Announcement: The lucky WINNER for the Lady and the Tramp Giveaway that ended February 17, 2012 is..... (drum roll, please).

Congratulations to Bernice Mckay (#213)

* Lady and the Tramp – Diamond Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack
* Lady and the Tramp Read-Along storybook and CD

I have sent you an email. You have 48 hours to respond. Thanks everyone for participating in my giveaway contests.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012


It's been a hectic month. There was a lot of stress and pressure here and there. And on top of that is my annoying brother-in-law. That's why I have been posting anything interesting on my blog lately. The following post is kinda personal, but I want to get this off my chest and had to write it down.

I've been balling my eyes out for the past 3 days, especially last night when my brother-in-law really tipped me off. I mean, he really pissed me off and made me cry/teary all day. I am still feeling really, REALLY hurt!

First of all, what happened was that Brandon was being a little picky and bossy with me. He wouldn't stop ordering me to do this and do that, so I decided to ignored him (disengage and walk away). I was trying to discipline him an let him think about what he did.

I don't punish Brandon nor do I ever hit him. NEVER. Please don't ever do that to your kids. I do a lot of discipline without punishment most of the time. I know there's a lot of repeating and I even explain about consequences to the little one. By the way, I am trying this discipline method from the book "1-2-3 Magic".

Of course he cried and was calling for me. Then it seemed quiet all of a sudden. When I came out of the other room, I found out that my brother-in-law took little Brandon upstairs WITHOUT ME KNOWING. Brandon told me afterwards when I ask him who took him upstairs. I got mad. He had no right to disrupt my family and how we raise our kids. Because I was downstairs with my hands full, I loudly asked Brandon to come back downstairs (making sure he heard me through the noisiness and walls all around). My brother-in-law then shouted at me. I shouted back at him to stop yelling. I'm sure Brandon was freaked out. He never shouts at me like that at me before and I got scared too.

I got so frustrated that I smashed a plate on the tile floor. Then I went upstairs, found Brandon with my mother-in-law, and brought him back. All I wanted was my little Brandon to come back 'home'. Little Brandon was not supposed to go upstairs, especially without us (my Hubby and I) knowing. I'm very protective of my son.

My Hubby wasn't there to see what happened so I emailed him to let him know. When he came home, I needed that hug. I was still teary-eyed and my Hubby hugged me for as long as I needed. I was glad he was there for me. I also had a little hug from Brandon.

The problem we have is that we don't get enough privacy. We have mentioned this to my in-laws previously. It's not the brother-in-law's business to interrupt how we discipline our children (or take them away without us knowing). As my Hubby says, it's not his kid anyway. This is our child and it's our way of raising him. After so many years, my Hubby still never wants to ever communicate with his brother who's always interrupting. He wants nothing to do with him anymore. I understand how he feels too.

Hubby mentioned that we seriously need to move out. We've been trying to move away from that house for quite some time, but it's hard especially living on one income right now. We don't have much of our own privacy living with his parents and brother. I know my Hubby wants have our own separate family. I don't really care much where we live anymore.

I spoke with my doctor about these headaches and constant abdominal pains. Found out I had a miscarriage. That explains why I've been having cramps and stomach pain along with spotting and clumping (period-like blood but coming and going). I didn't realize I was experiencing pregnancy symptoms for the past couple weeks. I haven't told anyone; nor my Hubby (as he's got enough stress on him already). I took this better this time than the first time it happened before I had Brandon. It isn't a good time for me to start an argument battle with anyone. I need to rest and hopefully time will heal... hopefully soon.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Celebration

Since Brandon had no class on Tuesday, February 14th (Valentine's Day), his preschool class celebrated and had a Valentine's party on Monday, February 13th. Lots of treats for the kids. This was Brandon's first Valentine's celebration at school. Here are just some of the Valentine Cards that Brandon got from his classmates and teachers.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Brandon's Colorful Drawings

Brandon's drawing skills seem to be getting quite good as he gets older and learning a lot more. I found these drawings are so priceless. I just thought I had to share them. Drawings from 3-year-old Brandon:

Drawing of Mommy (left) / Drawing of Daddy (right)

Drawing of Mommy driving a Mack Truck (from Disney Cars)

Drawing of Daddy driving a police car

Daddy, Mommy, Brandon, and Momo (our cat) on the sidewalk

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mini Roadtrip: Shannon Falls and Britannia Mining Museum

It was our mini road trip. We took a drive on the sea-to-sky highway (Hwy 1) to Shannon Falls Provincial Park in Squamish, BC for waterfall pictures and a little nature walk. Brandon seemed very interested in the signs where it talks about the history of the mountains and waterfall. Photos were taken using my Nikon D7000.

On our way back to Vancouver, we stopped by the Britannia Mining Museum. Since we've never been there before, we decided to check out the tour. Price was $21.50 each adult fare and kids under 5 are free.


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